Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Newswires report that a new book has been published, "The Telephone Gambit: Chasing Alexander Graham Bell's Secret" by Seth Shulman, in which Shulman attempts to prove that Bell stole the key idea for his telephone. Shulman argues that up until the year 1876, Bell was unable to figure out how to transmit sound electromagnetically over a wire, as evidenced by reports of failure in his laboratory notebooks. Then, after a 12-day gap in 1876, when Bell went to Washington to discuss patent issues at the Patent Office - Bell began developing a new mechanism for voice transmission, which proved to be successful. Did Bell get a look at his competitor's patents, the patents of Elisha Gray? Shulman argues yes, by comparing the diagrams Bell made of his new transmitter to diagrams in Gray's earlier patent applications. Shulman argues the two sets of diagrams are substantially similar to conclude that Bell stole his key idea from Gray. Of course, nowadays, thanks to the security morons in USPTO management (no one in PTO management has any real experience with national security), all you have to do to steal some important new piece of technology is to find the name of the tele-working examiner who is handling the technology, easily break into his house one night when he is gone, and quickly make copies of technology nowhere else disclosed.

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